Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hollywood dog wars: It's Blackie v Uggie

Martin Scorsese wants his Doberman Blackie to beat Uggie and claim the Golden Collar Award.

Hollywood has always been known as a dog-eat-dog town but Martin Scorsese had a bone to pick with all the fuss around Uggie, the hero of silent movie The Artist.
As the Oscars rivalry builds up so too is the battle to win the unofficial award to be the cinema's top dog and claim the Golden Collar award.
Scorsese, whose film Hugo has 10 nominations against 11 nods for The Artist for the February 26 Oscars, argued that the not-so-cute Doberman - a snarling, orphan-chasing beast called Blackie - should be included as a last-minute nominee - and he has won that dog fight.
Blackie, who belongs to the station inspector played by Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen in the film, will take on Uggie at the The 1st Annual Golden Collar Awards ceremony on February 13 in Los Angeles after a successful Facebook campaign to force his inclusion. Other nominees include Cosmo from the movie Beginners and Brigitte, aka Stella, in the TV series Modern Family.
In a nicely tongue-in-cheek open letter to the Los Angeles Times, Scorsese had written: "I have been cautioned against speaking out on this issue lest I create the appearance of churlishness. Well, I'm going to have to risk it. One recent morning, I turned on the television, and imagine my surprise when I heard the nominations for the first Golden Collar Awards for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film.
"After all, we had Blackie the Doberman in our movie. How could she not be nominated? I listened in vain for Blackie's name to be called, and then to all the hullabaloo over a certain Jack Russell terrier named Uggie. Uggie is so adorable that he received two nominations for two separate pictures. Well done. OK, let's lay all our cards on the table. Jack Russell terriers are small and cute. Dobermans are enormous and - handsome.
"More tellingly, Uggie plays a nice little mascot who does tricks and saves his master's life in one of the films, while Blackie gives an uncompromising performance as a ferocious guard dog who terrorises children. I'm sure you can see what I'm driving at."

Aptly, for a town ruled by paranoia and conspiracy theories, Scorsese revealed his own suspicions about what was really behind the canine pecking order.
He added: "I detect another, more deep-seated prejudice at work. Jack Russell terriers were bred in the 19th century for the purposes of fox hunting by an Englishman, the Reverend John Russell. Dobermans were bred by a German tax collector who was afraid of being bludgeoned to death by the citizenry. But does that mean we must condemn the entire breed?"
He concluded: "In short, I protest the omission of Blackie the Doberman from the first Golden Collar nominations. Moreover, I encourage all Times readers to make their preference known to the editors of Dog News Daily by write-in ballot and give Blackie the nomination she so richly deserves."
Uggie's owners announced last week that the 10-year-old dog is retiring after his turn in The Artist, in which the four-legged friend notably saves his master's life from a fire.
The favourite remains Uggie. Unless the bookmakers are barking up the wrong tree, of course.

By Digital Culture Editor

Monday, 30 January 2012

Dogs sing Star Wars

Just a bit of fun with...  The Bark Side 2012 

OK, so Scruff can't help you train your best friend to sing like the next Pop Dog idol, but sing with happiness with our Deals of the Week!!!  Products change periodically so keep your eyes peeled for changes in deals!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Celebrity trainer says we need to understand our dog

Victoria Stilwell, star of US TV series It's Me or the Dog, blames poor ownership over inherent aggression in animals

Stilwell says if dogs don't get enough stilumation they can be like a 'ticking bomb'. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Responsible ownership, positive training and a better understanding of man's supposed best friend is the key to reducing the rising number of dog attacks in the UK, according to a celebrity dog trainer.
Victoria Stilwell, the star of hit US TV series It's Me or the Dog, supports a change in the dangerous dogs law to punish irresponsible owners whose pets bite victims on private property.
The current law, which prevents the prosecution of dog owners when the attack takes place on private property, is insufficient and changing it will "show irresponsible owners they have to pull their socks up", Stilwell said.
Stilwell, who is originally from Wimbledon but now lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter, also supports compulsory microchipping of dogs and education programmes in schools.
"We've had this relationship with dogs for 15,000 years now and yet we still know so little about them and so much of our learning about them has been treating these animals with force and through fear and punishment," said Stilwell, who also served as a judge on Greatest American Dog.
"Now, we are seeing how detrimental that can be for the human-animal relationship and how dangerous it can be too."
Stilwell, who has two dogs herself, promotes a more positive, reward-based approach to dog training and believes this significantly reduces the risk of unpredictable, potentially dangerous, behaviour. "One of the really big contributing factors, in nine times out of 10 cases, the dog is raised without being socialised, abused in some way, neglected and a lot of them chained," she said.
"Not giving a dog enough exercise or mental stimulation can turn a dog towards such frustration and anger – it's like a bomb waiting to explode. It would be exactly the same if you chained a person up, I think that's the very, very root of absolute cruelty and has caused so much horror."
The proliferation of puppy farms is another big contributing factor to the rising number of dog bite cases, Stilwell thinks. "Puppy farms breed with no concern for health and temperament. The formation of your dog's character, how it really sees the world, takes place during the first 16 to 18 weeks of life."
• This article was amended on 20 January 2012. The original said that Victoria Stilwell lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. This has been corrected.
By for The Guardian 

Help build that relationship with dog toys!  Fun for everyone, browse dog toys at Scruff MacDuff now.  


Friday, 27 January 2012

New dog grooming craze hits UK

A NEW craze in which dogs are clipped and dyed into different shapes for wacky competitions is spreading to Britain from the US.

Artists called creative dog groomers take ­owners’ pets and turn them into everything from dragons and chickens to pirates and footballers.

Award-winning British groomer Su Weaver – inspired by the coats of tigers and zebras – has now transformed two poodles named Willow and Floyd into a Tigoodle and a Zeboodle.

“People do a double-take on seeing them out together,” said Su, 36, who owns a dog grooming salon in Rushden, Northants. “Some think the practice is cruel but all our dyes are vegetable-based so the animals are totally unharmed.”

Pet project: Groomer Su with poodles

The contests are expected to grow in popularity since a law change on January 1 that allows easier movement of pets between Britain and the US.

Kat Lay and Lucy Laing for The People

Browse Scruff MacDuff grooming products - though Scruff doesn't currently sell dyes, you can get rid of those tear stains (and many more products).  Browse now at Scruff MacDuff!!

Articles of interest:

Britain puts out the "Pets Welcome" sign - explaining what the law change on 1 January will mean

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Greyhound Rescue Fife

Greyhound Rescue Fife (GRF) is a sanctuary for homeless greyhounds located at Baltree Country Centre near Gairneybank, Kinross. It is run by Celia and Jimmy Fernie and always has many lovely greyhounds looking for a home, plus, sadly, a constant waiting list of incoming dogs.

Hey did you know? 

"Greyhounds can be divided into three main types: the racing Greyhound, the coursing Greyhound and the show Greyhound." 

Adopt, donate or just want to know more about loving Greyhounds, visit the Greyhound Rescue Fife website now!  GRF also have a planned Dog Show in Fife in May, details on GRF website

Amelia Greyheart (aka Goldie Greyhound ) taking 3rd prize in Greyhound Rescue Fife's competition wearing her SCRUFF MACDUFF Doggles
Browse Doggles at Scruff MacDuff's store now and look just as cool as Goldie aka Amelia Greyheart!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Deals of the Week

Second round of Deals of the Week for 2012.  This week we are offering a wide range of accessories including the Tear Stain removing eye pack grooming kit.  And if you haven't got yours yet, the West Paw Jacket is still in our Deals of the Week to cover the drop in temperature announced for the following couple weeks.
Deals of the Week

                                           Click here to browse all the Deals of the Week 

Ruffwear Lunker Toy 

Ruffwear Lunker Toy - Blue
Ruffwear Lunker Toy and Float Coat
Catch, fetch, tug and pull, this Lunker interactive toy is great to play with, or used to train your dog.  Made with highly durable bright coloured nylon, Ruffwear's Lunker toy is easy to spot and clean too!

Suitable for use on land and water this Lunker toy also floats!  The Lunker is made with float coat material and is perfectly leveraged and balanced by the Ruffwear technicians.  With a long lanyard you can fling the toy like a pro athlete discus thrower if you wished.  For those of us who don't want to end up seeing stars from dizziness will still find that the lanyard will allow you to throw the toy further than usual.  

Happytails Tear Stain Control Pack

Happytails Tear Stain pack
Your dog is adorable, but those ugly red tearstains under her eyes really look bad.
Happytails has created two new products that work together to fight the problem from the inside and out.

The reason tearstains are so hard to eradicate is because they are a visible symptom of a deeper systemic problem. The most common cause of the redness is a yeast infection (epiphora) which is produced by bacteria. That’s why, if you want to get rid of tearstains, wiping the eyes is only the first step.

Ruffwear Quencher Cinch Top Bowl

Quencher Cinch Bowl

Conveniently pack away your dog's travel munchies with this Cinch Top Bowl.  And once finished, you can use the bowl for water, just like the Bivy (collapsable) bowl, but with cinches -  how convenient!

The Quencher Cinch Bowl is made from environmentally conscious recycled polyester outer shell with a gauranteed waterproof liner. 

This lightweight and compact bowl comes in 2 sizes - small or large to suit any size dog.   

(Sky Blue) 
Just as the name suggests, this jacket is perfect for those shower burst & misty days!  What's more the West Paw Cloudburst Jacket is also eco-conscious as it's made from 100% recycled polyester fabric, is light & comfortable to wear, & is easily cleaned as it's machine washable (cold).  

Car safety

Car safety harness, don't hold back!  

Photo: Cheezburger.com 

Article of interest:
Travelling dogs - restraints in the car

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Husky sledding comes to Sherwood

Ahead of the biggest day in Britain's husky-racing calendar, meet the 'mushers' and their speed-loving companions.

Chariots of Fido: Andy Steadman and his dogs in training - More than 200 teams will be competing at Aviemore this weekend

It begins as a distant howling in the forest. Quickly it comes closer, until suddenly you are confronted with a sight as breathtaking as it is unexpected. A team of four gleaming white husky dogs, careering at ears-pinned-back speed across the bumpy ground, are pulling behind them a miniature Roman chariot that is driven by a flowing-haired Gaul.

All right, so he's not actually a first-century AD chieftain, he's Midlands-based builder and repair man Andy Steadman, and the conveyance he's piloting is more of a heavy-duty tricycle than a front-line war vehicle. That said, only the most battle-grizzled centurion would be brave enough to stand in the way of him and his onrushing dog team.

Indeed, the vision is made all the more overpowering by the fact that daylight has barely broken over the treetops. Which means that as well as having a wildly waving mane of locks on either side of his head, Andy also has a powerful torchlight beam emerging from its middle. This isn't just for fun. He's here with his team to train for the season's biggest gathering, at Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands, which takes place today and tomorrow.

It's the sort of thing you just don't expect to see in Britain. Out in the wilds of Alaska, maybe, or skimming across the frozen wastes of Norway or Finland. But not here in the heart of the National Forest, at Moira, in Leicestershire. Enthusiasts will be quick to inform you, though, that husky racing is more popular in Britain than in any other European country outside Scandinavia.

"There's actually 800 husky racing teams in this country, but you'd never know it," says Max Wightman, Andy's business partner and fellow "musher", as they call the sport's exponents. "The reason no one knows about us is because no one ever sees us. By the very nature of what we do, we have to stick to places where there aren't many members of the public."

 Whether or not the passion is attributable to the British love for dogs or contempt for safety, there is no doubting the dedication: this location, and time of day, being a case in point.

Andy, Max and their families have got up at 4am in order to be here before even the birds are awake, let alone the odd hiker or hillwalker. And this despite the fact that they've paid for a permit from the Forestry Commission, allowing them to train their teams on this specific patch of land.

"When we're training, we're pretty much restricted to either first thing in the morning, or around 9pm at night," says Andy, joining us at the end of his forest circuit. "The exception is when we're staging a big event." And that happens more often than you might think.

The husky-racing season runs from October to March (cold weather only, huskies overheat easily), and there are at least a dozen big events in the ABSA (Affiliated British Sleddog Activities) calendar, most of them attracting up to 60 entries, and taking place in well-known forests such as Sherwood, Ringwood, Wareham and the Forest of Dean. This weekend's competition involves 200 teams, and will go ahead even if there's snow on the tracks around Loch Morlich.

Size of dog teams can vary from one to eight, and races are run not head-to-head, but on a time trial basis, with teams being dispatched at two-minute intervals, across a course between three and five miles long.
Four main breeds are allowed to compete (Samoyeds, Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes and Canadian Eskimo dogs), and chariots, or "rigs" cost from £250 to £450 if bought from an online store such as Snowpawstore or Culpeppers, but are cheaper if bought second-hand via the Mushers Exchange website.

Some competitors even manufacture their own rigs, among them Max Wightman. "I've put together a four-wheeled rig, instead of the conventional three-wheeled version," he says, as his seven-year-old son William scoots it gently around the forest car park. "I feel a bit more secure on four wheels, having come off a three-wheeler and broken my shoulder."

Too much dog power was the culprit: often the case. "As the driver, you do have brakes, but the dogs are so strong that there's only a limited amount of time you can hold them. After that, you need to find something secure you can tie them up to."

Hence the large set of hooks-on-a-harness that are standard issue on every chariot. Indeed, no one watching husky racing can fail to be impressed both by the raw muscular oomph of the dogs, and the depth of joy and enthusiasm with which they set about their chariot-pulling.

Each time, Andy and his wife, Ann, reach into their trailer and pick out one of their 12-strong travelling team of dogs, the animal emerges not like some languorous Premier League footballer coming off the substitute's bench, but like a leaping, straining, howling force of nature.

And while the dogs race for sheer love of speed and competition, the same pretty much applies to their human counterparts. There's certainly no money in it, at least not in this country. Whereas big-race winners in Alaska can expect to take home $30,000 (£19,500), first-placed entrants in British events tend to end up with a small cup and a firm handshake from the event organiser.

Sponsors are not Coca-Cola and Barclaycard, but the upmarket German dog food suppliers Happy Dog (slogan Natürlich gesünder, "naturally healthier" – a sort of canine version of Audi's Vorsprung durch Technik).

"In this country, it's still very much a family sport, with family pets taking part," says Andy, and he should know. He himself has won the ABSA championship four times, while his 16-year-old daughter Rebecca has won the junior championship five times.

As for the Wightmans, their idea of a holiday is to drive their dogs over to Sweden and go husky-sledding across the snow. And when they're not racing with their own dogs, either in Britain or Scandinavia, they're looking after other people's: Max's wife, Heidi, runs a sleeps-50 kennel at their home in Nottinghamshire.
So was Max put off the sport by his broken shoulder? Not a bit. "I was back on the rig a couple of days later," he says. "I'm averaging 22mph now. But what makes the difference is getting that extra half-a-mile an hour. That's what we're all after."

Friday, 20 January 2012

Shadow stops to pose

Shadow taking a break from his charity work to say "hi"
Sponsor him now at www.justgiving.com/grahampovey

A while back Scruff MacDuff had promised to sponsor Shadow and Graham on their Veterans Charity walk from the Pyrennes to Cabo de Creus along the Mediterranean coast.  

Shadow and his owner Graham then set off at the end of 2011

Other related articles: 

450km from Irun - June 2011

Ruffwear Palisades Dog Rucksack

Going hill walking, camping, an excursion or just want your best friend to share the load?  Have a look at the Ruffwear Palisades Dog Rucksack.

Palisades Rucksack

This lightweight, and long term durable bag is ideal for all types of adventures from the easy - hill walking, to the extreme, mountain climbing.  The Palisades rucksack comprises of weight conscious saddlebags, which can be detached, and a Web Master Harness underneath.  Handy if you have to cross high waters, or are making pit stops!  

The rucksack is trimmed with reflective lining; there is a aluminium V- ring to allow you to attach a lead and/or light beacon; the saddlebags each contain a collapsible 1L bottle; the harness comes with an assistance handle allowing you to life your dog over obstacles, and there are five-point adjustable straps to ensure both comfort and security of the bags.    

The bag comes in red currant and is available in 3 sizes - small, medium and large.

Other item of interest: 

Ruffwear Dog Beacon
Finding it hard to spot your dog during those trips, or even evening walks?  Want to make sure others, especially drivers can spot your Scruff during those dark nights?  

Ruffwear Light Beacon
This light beacon uses four LEDs to create a high visibility red light around the dog as it emits light in four directions.  Sturdy, compact, watertight, lightweight and easily clipped onto the dog jacket, dog pack or collar, get yours now!

Thursday, 19 January 2012


A very unamused cat

<a href='http://video.uk.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&vid=57dca2f6-0ada-4e47-8066-cb4845bde7f3&from=&src=v5:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='World's Most Patient Cat'>Video: World's Most Patient Cat</a>

Tired Puppy
<a href='http://video.uk.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&vid=ccdb05e7-26ea-4833-bd2a-4138ad315ecc&from=&src=v5:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Tired Puppy Falls Asleep'>Video: Tired Puppy Falls Asleep</a>

What to expect from Scruff for 2012

A very warm (or cold as the temperature dedicates) Scruff welcome to 2012!

Scruff MacDuff is happy to announce that this year he's planning for bigger and more things. Let us first proudly annouce that Scruff MacDuff is a recommended dog wear retailer 2012 by CompareTheDogWear.co.uk and a certified retailer by the Pet Care Trade Association.

Apart from our old but cherished sponsoring of Charities such as the Dogs Trust and VeteransCharity, Scruff has also made a new friend with AMCUK Alaskan Malamute Rescue, who are holding an event in March 2012 (more details to follow).

Late 2011 we introduced Deals of the Week in our Scruff MacDuff store, and with such success & interest Deals of theWeek will now become part of our permanent offers. We are also planning a competition zone where products and money off vouchers can be won. Keep an eye on Scruff MacDuff's blog site for more information. Throughout the months Scruff will also be throwing out money off and discount vouchers on random days on his twitter and facebook sites so if you haven't join, follow Scruff now to take advantage of him!

That's all for now. Hope everyone is having a great start to 2012, and remember, it's not too late to grab a winter jacket for your best friend!

Scruff & his team!    

Friday, 13 January 2012

Looking for a fitness buddy? Get a dog

Experts say studies show dog owners walk more, walk faster, and are more likely to enjoy an active lifestyle because of their companion animal.

"I'm fascinated by what a great motivator dogs can be," said Dr. Sandra McCune, co-editor of the book, "The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets."

McCune, an animal behaviorist based in Leicestershire, England, said studies show if you're a dog walker, you're more likely to meet the guidelines for daily activities.

Dogs are the reason behind two-thirds, 66 percent, of the walks their owners take each week, according to a recent survey of more than 1,011 adults commissioned by pet food company Mars Petcare.

Brian Stanford walks with his dog on the beach in
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
September 3, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Dan Anderson

One-quarter of people with children and pets regularly visit parks and other outdoor spaces because of their dog.

"Personally, I have a Labrador," McCune said. "When it's dark, when it's raining, the dog needs a walk, every day."

She said dog walking also strengthens social and communal ties.

"If people go out with a dog, they're more likely to have a conversation," she explained.

According to the poll some 44 percent of dog owners aged 65 and older exercise on a weekly basis because of their dog.

"Dogs are strong drivers of social capital," said McCune, explaining that social capital is a sociological term which she defined as the value of all relationships.
"Dog ownership benefits the entire community," she said.

This fall YMCAs in several U.S. cities are hosting their version of dog days. Called the Power of Pets, the programs include dog run/walks, dog yoga and other dog fair activities.

"It's a chance to get the community together," Katy Leclair, executive director of the Lake View, Illinois YMCA said of the program. "Families with dogs tend to be more active."

As workout partners, canines can offer energy, enthusiasm, and the social support so crucial to sticking with an exercise program, according to Shirley Archer, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

"Dogs can provide that companionship," said Archer, a Florida-based fitness instructor. "Frisbee tossing, ball throwing, agility competitions, dog and human boot camps, are great opportunities to be active," she said. "But obedience training is a must."

She cautions that as living creatures dogs need to be taken care of.
"If they ride with you on a bicycle, they need to be trained to stay close," she said. "Keep them hydrated. Check their paws. Don't let them run right after they eat."

Laura Cartwright Hardy, a grandmother and full-time graduate student living in Little Rock, Arkansas, has two huge German Shepherds.

"I've had big dogs since I was 20 and that's definitely been part of the reason I've always been fit," said Hardy, who started lifting weights in her 30s so she could carry 40-pound (18.14-kg) bags of dog food with ease.

"They certainly keep you honest about walking," she said. "Those big brown eyes make it impossible to say no."

She added that every human walking partner she has had, except her sister and her husband, quit because she went too fast.

"My dogs (all girls) have been steadfast," she said.

Reuters article by By Dorene Internicola

Owners opt for 'ugly’ breeds of dog

"Ugly" dog breeds are increasing in popularity as owners look for pets which provoke a strong reaction, new figures show.

Miss Ellie, a Chinese Crested Hairless dog, won the World's Ugliest Dog Contest last yearPhoto: Getty Images

Growing numbers of Britons are shunning traditional breeds in favour of the less obvious charms of animals which even their staunchest supporters might concede are not blessed in the looks department.
The surprising surge in popularity of a series of “ugly” or unconventional-looking dog breeds is revealed in statistics from the Kennel Club on the numbers of pedigree puppies born in the last decade.
Among the fastest risers were the Mexican hairless and Chinese crested, both of which are largely bald with wizened features, the Cirneco Dell’Etna and Pharaoh Hound, distinguished by their oversized bat-like ears, and the wrinkled-faced dogue de Bordeaux, owned by Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, the England footballers.
Between these five breeds, 3,452 puppies were born in 2010, compared with just 990 in 2001.
Meanwhile, many traditional breeds are plummeting in numbers, among them the Yorkshire terrier (down 32 per cent since 2001 to 3,441 puppies in 2010), and West Highland White terrier, (down 51 per cent to 5,361), German shepherd (down 27 per cent to 10,364) and golden retriever (down 20 per cent to 7,911).
Experts believe the trend for “ugly” dogs is down to owners looking for increasingly rare and unusual pets, with the hairless breeds offering further attractions to people who suffer from asthma and allergies. The two with the most “extreme” looks are the Chinese crested and the Mexican hairless.
The Mexican hairless – also known as Xoloitzcuintle, or Xolos – originate in central and southern America and are believed to have been around for up to 3,500 years. Their early masters were the Toltecs, an ancient civilisation in the region, and the Aztecs, who believed they had special healing powers. They used them as companion animals – although they did also eat them as a delicacy.
When Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492, his journal noted the presence of the strange animals and they were taken back to Europe as a curiosity. The first pair in the UK were kept at London Zoo in the 1950s.
Because of their lack of hair, the dogs need to be covered in sun cream when outdoors, to avoid burning. Puppies are estimated to cost up to £1,000.
Lesley Lockhart, treasurer from the Mexican Hairless Club UK, conceded that the animals’ appearance did provoke a strong reaction from people but defended them as a wonderful pet with a proud heritage.
“The dogs do get funny looks, or double takes, when they are out and about. I have had people asking if they are poorly.
“We called our first one Marmite, because people either love them or hate them. People are a bit taken aback by them, but once they get to know them they are bowled over by them. To find true beauty you have to scratch beneath the surface.”
The dogs themselves do not appear to be troubled by their appearance. Although good natured, Ms Lockhart said that by reputation they were an aloof breed.
Their numbers in the UK have remained very low since the 1980s, when the first pair of pets was imported. However, it has started to grow in recent years and the breed club was established in 2004 to promote and protect the animal.
Its numbers have more than doubled to around 70 in the last two years, of an estimated worldwide population of 4,000.
The Chinese crested, which is more established in the UK, now numbers in its thousands, having increased from just 312 puppies registered in 2001 to almost 600 last year. The breed has, in recent years, dominated the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, an annual competition in California.
Also growing in popularity over the period are several other varieties, whose distinctive squashed features and flat faces mean they are similarly facially challenged. Among them are the griffon Bruxelloise (up 43 per cent to 201 puppies), Japanese chin (up 57 per cent to 302), and the shar pei (up 143 per cent to 2,304).
Two other unusual-looking breeds to have increased during the period are the more established pug (up 557 per cent to 5,726) and chihuahuas (up 322 per cent to 5,397), both of which have been popularised by celebrity owners, including Paris Hilton, Jonathan Ross, and Hugh Laurie.
Paul Keevil, who runs a group called British Heritage Dog Breeds, promoting more traditional, native varieties, said the trend for “eccentric-looking” dogs was about owners “making a statement – whatever that statement is”.
“There is certainly a growing appeal for these breeds, who seem to be, shall we say, a less attractive bunch.
“It is a desire for the bizarre. People want something that looks a bit usual, a bit striking. The dog is to make some kind of fashion or lifestyle statement.
“Maybe it makes the owner more beautiful. They say that people look like their dogs, but perhaps it doesn’t apply in these cases.”
How the UK’s 10 most popular pedigree dog breeds have changed in numbers
Labrador, 44,099 puppies registered in 2010 (a 31 per cent increase since 2001)
Cocker spaniel, 23,744 (87 per cent up)
English springer spaniel, 13,988 (18 per cent up)
German shepherd dog, 10,364 (27 per cent down)
Staffordshire bull terrier, 8,663 (14 per cent down)
Border terrier, 8,383 (87 per cent up)
Cavalier King Charles spaniel, 8,154 (21 per cent down)
Golden retriever, 7,911 (20 per cent down)
Pug 5,726 (557 per cent up)
Boxer 5,699 (40 per cent down)

Article by 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Dogs sniff out £9.9m hidden cash

Dogs which are used to fight against smuggling and the movement of drug money have sniffed out nearly £10 million in the last year.
The animals working for the UK Border Agency managed to pick up on the scent of £9.9 million of hidden cash. The money, which was detected by dogs stationed around the UK's airports and ports, was seized by border officials in the last financial year.
Labrador Retriever Buster with his handler
Gavin Edwards at Gatwick Airport
Of the detector dogs used by the border force, there are 19 specially trained currency detector dogs which routinely check passengers and cargo and sniff out suspicious quantities of bank notes.
Labrador Retriever Buster has discovered tens of thousands of pounds and is only in the early stages of his career.
Within minutes of being deployed at Gatwick Airport, the two-year-old dog pointed his handler towards a woman who was found to have £8,000 in her hand luggage as she boarded a flight to Vietnam.
His handler Gavin Edwards, who affectionately calls him Buster Crimes, based on the name for American rapper Busta Rhymes, said: "Buster screens the passengers by sniffing their bags. If he finds a scent of money, he sits and indicates to me.
"We ask the passengers how much money they are carrying, depending on what they say, that person is then investigated by another officer. Depending on whether there are any relations to crime, we would then seize the money."
Like other cash detector dogs, Buster has been loaned out to other agencies for raids on properties to locate hidden money.
While working on a house raid with HM Revenue and Customs, Buster discovered £34,000 hidden around the property of a person being investigated for tax fraud.
Currency detector dogs were first used in the UK in 1999. Initially two dogs were based at Heathrow Airport to search passengers' baggage and freight leaving the country.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Dog Hygiene

Keeping a dog healthy is very much the job of the dog owner. While it is necessary to take your dog for regular checkups at the veterinarian if you don't take care of the simple things at home then your dog will end up with more serious problems.

Ears: At least once a week it is good to check your dog's ears. This is especially true if you have a breed with either long ears or very hairy ears.

You should check for any unusual odors, redness, or inflammation. 

Should your dog have any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian and set up an appointment to have your dog checked.To clean out excess dirt from your dog's ears use a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or baby oil. Be careful to not clean too deeply into your dog's ear canal.

Eyes: In general if your dog is healthy its eyes should appear shiny, clean and be completely wide open. It is a good idea to regularly wipe any discharge away from your dog's eyes. A good time to do this is when you are giving your dog its regular grooming. To clean your dog's eyes simply use a warm moist washcloth. Some breeds are much more susceptible to eye problems than others and it is common for some breeds to have an almost constant discharge. Regardless of what breed you have, if you notice that there is yellow or green discharge in your dog's eyes you should talk to your veterinarian about it. Dog breeds with white hair some times develop discoloration around their eyes due to excessive tearing. You can buy some solutions that can reduce this discoloration. Be sure to talk with your dog's veterinarian before buying any health care products for your dog.

Teeth: Unlike cats, dogs need help keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Some breeds are predisposed to having dental problems that can sometimes be very serious and require dental surgery. Because dogs are prone to having problems with cavities, plaque build up and periodontal diseases you will typically want to clean your dog's teeth a couple times a week. And be sure to check your dog's teeth, gums (and breath) for signs of potential problems. To clean your dog's teeth you can either use a normal soft bristled toothbrush or you can buy a specially designed dog toothbrush. Make sure to not use human toothpaste though as it can make your dog sick. It is also a good idea to have your dog's teeth cleaned by its veterinarian on a regular basis.

Article from seefido.com

Scruff (product) recommends for dog hygiene: 

Happytails 2-part Ear Aid Pack

For the ears - 

If your dog is prone to ear infections, wax build up or smelly, itchy ears, Ear Aid is the answer.

Statistics show that ear infections are the number one reason why dog owners go to the vet. It often takes multiple visits to eliminate the problem which is not only expensive but also frustrating for both dog and owner.

For the eyes - 

Happy Tails Tear Stain Control Pack
Your dog is adorable, but those ugly red tearstains under her eyes really look bad.

Happytails has created two new products that work together to fight the problem from the inside and out.

The reason tearstains are so hard to eradicate is that they are a visible symptom of a deeper systemic problem. The most common cause of the redness is a yeast infection (epiphora) which in turn is produced by bacteria. That’s why, if you want to get rid of tearstains, wiping the eyes is only the first step. Unless you boost your best friend’s immunity, the bacteria that cause the discoloration will persist and so will the stains.

For the teeth - 

Toothbrush & Paste set

Kissable's toothbrush has a unique 3-sided design. It looks different because it is different. The KissAble Toothbrush brushes all 3 sides of your dog's teeth at once (bottom, front and back) with one simple brushing motion.

The multi-tasking toothbrush massages your dog's gums as it cleans his teeth. Firm scrubbing bristles positioned to clean your dog's teeth are paired with softer massaging bristles that work the gums, helping to prevent gum disease.